Timeless Tales is a quarterly digital magazine exclusively publishing retellings of fairy tales and classic myths since 2013. The current submission window is open for stories (up to 2,000 words) and poems that fit with the theme Rumpelstiltskin. There is no fee to submit and the magazine pays a flat rate of $20 for stories and poems. They’ve been accepting poems since 2016 and are looking for modernizations, sci-fi retellings, prequels, continuations, mash-ups, etc. (no eroticism).
For more information on what “makes an A+ fairy tale retelling,” check out their editor’s blog post here: How to Write a Killer Fairy Tale Retelling.
I wondered how and why this lit mag came to be, so I asked founder and editor Tahlia Merrill Kirk and she kindly replied. See my interview with Merrill Kirk and submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Timeless Tales.
MERRILL KIRK: Timeless Tales’ slogan is “Breathing new life into classic fairy tales and myths.” We are all about creating fresh twists on stories that everyone has heard a million times. Sometimes that means a version of Puss in Boots set amidst America’s War on Iraq. Other times it’s a Pandora’s Box retelling about a corrupt doctor planning to unleash a deadly virus on the world. Our magazine is meant to be full of surprises and challenge our readers’ preconceived notions.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Timeless Tales originally started?
MERRILL KIRK: Right after college, I spent some time interning for a fairy tale webzine called Enchanted Conversation. After a few months, the editor announced that she was going on an indefinite hiatus but encouraged me to start my own magazine.
I’d always wanted to work in publishing and saw potential in the idea. So I created a website, added mythology into the mix, and self-appointed myself as editor. A little presumptuous, since my only credentials were a BA in English and some freelance writing experience, but “fake it ‘til you make it”, right?
We published our first issue in 2013, which means next year will be our 5th anniversary. How time flies!
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
MERRILL KIRK: Stories and poems that fit our current theme. So if our website says we’re open for Rumpelstiltskin retellings, we won’t be considering a Sleeping Beauty story (unless it’s a Sleeping Beauty/Rumpelstiltskin crossover…ooh, someone should try writing that!). Beyond that, my recommendation is always to be as experimental as possible. For example, your chances of acceptance are greatly improved if you don’t set your piece in a generic Medieval fantasy world.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
MERRILL KIRK: I spend most of my time trying to keep up with the other magazines in the folklore community, so I follow Marvels & Tales, Fairy Tale Review, and Cabinet des Fees. Also a fan of the more academic humor in The Toast, even though it just shut down last month, boooo!
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
MERRILL KIRK: There’s a contact form on our website, but I’m always happy to respond to emails sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
DEADLINE: September 1, 2017
SUBMISSION FEE: None
NOTES: Current theme is Rumpelstiltskin retellings
FORMS: poetry and stories
DUOTROPE: https://duotrope.com/listing/13423, including editor interview